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Challenge #01184-C089: They're Not Nearly Giants

I can't even begin to understand your bizarre chain of thought. Its almost as if you're suggesting that avoiding the creation of giant robots is a valid course of action. -- RecklessPrudence

Iris dared look up at her master. Tall, dishevelled, underfed, devastatingly handsome, and so pure of heart that it made her soul hurt with wanting to kiss him. And so unworldly that he never cared to reprimand her for any of her multiple impertinences.

"Forgive me, Colonel," she murmured. "But... your lady didn't much appreciate the giant giraffe? Perhaps... more normal-sized musicians... would be economical?"

"Well, yes... I wouldn't have to scale up any instruments. And there's that worrying factor of certain bass frequencies..." His lanky, graceful hands began to sketch patterns in the air.

Iris could watch his clever fingers all day... but she was sent here to unearth unconsidered crockery, and any cutlery that wasn't currently doing double duty as a bookmark. Forcing herself to go about her duties was the second-hardest thing about her life as a maid in Walter Manor.

And if she encountered any mechanical parts, she placed them conveniently on the only clear surface in his lab - the workbench.

"If I can miniaturise them to the point that they can hold normal instruments... That may well be just as captivating as immensity!"

The copper head on the shelf, attached by cables to a larger box of cogs and gears, followed Iris with it's mechanical eyes. And it made kissy motions at her and waggled its eyebrows.

The fact that it could look like the lady Doctor Delilah Moreau in a charitable light was... somewhat abrading. But Iris kept those feelings buried deep inside the secret garden of her heart.

"You've got halfway of a start, Colonel," she said. "Most of these things you've made are almost there. You just need..." she flailed a little. "Smaller gears?"

It was two more weeks before she came to regret that particular prompt. Two weeks, and the head on the shelf became an autonomous automaton named Rabbit. With a steel, twin brother named after the monstrous chimneys springing from his spine. And two other, very peculiar brothers. Both made in haste.

While Delilah died.

Now the love of her life was having a serious go at self-immolation through self-neglect. Leaving her to pick up the messes and chase around four automatons with the minds of children and the bodies of giants. Well. Two giants and two junk-piles. One of them didn't even have feet.

And the worst part... the worst part was that they were all genuinely kind and accommodating. And they loved her. They had taken to calling her 'ma' when nobody else was around and that really broke her heart.

Especially when any of them asked about their 'father'.

Colonel Walter needed something severe to shock him out of his self-absorption. And four mechanical babies were not going to cut it.

With luck, it would happen soon.

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